A Key Win
• Hobbs (og) 14 • Hooiveld 59
Tuesday, 20th March 2012
Match Report :
Wow! Five point clear with just eight games to play. Beyond my wildest expectations at the start of the season? You bet.
This Saints team now has the determined look of last seasons League 1 runners up during that fantastic final run-in..
The big surprise was Jason Puncheon coming back into the team to start on the right wing, having not featured for several games.
One of the factors that Nigel Adkins had to take into account was the very nature of the KC Stadium pitch. Hull share the ground with the Hull Rugby League club and at this time of the year the Rugby League season is just getting underway. The pitch is heavily used now and perhaps not in the best condition for the sort of short passing football that Saints are good at.
However, from the off Saints went for the jugular and the Hull defence which had looked rock solid in the preceding games, suddenly looked very uncertain. Ricky Lambert had already had one chance saved when Danny Fox sent in a low cross towards him. Jack Hobbs, the Hull captain got between them, but in attempting to steer the ball out for a corner only managed to divert it past his goalkeeper into the net.
Saints should have been two up almost immediately When Cork sent Lallana clear. He rounded Mannone, the Hull keeper and ...... shot wide of the open net. Miss of the season? Maybe.
Getting away with it seemed to galvanise the Hull defence and gradually they got to grips with Saints and came back into the game with King hitting the crossbar and Brady inexplicably skying the ball over the bar with only Davis to beat.
The second half found Hull pressuring again and one attack foundered with a cross missing several Hull players as it fizzed across the Saints goalmouth. While the Hull players were still discussing that, Saints raced up the other end and Fonte crossed for Hooiveld to head into the Hull net.
At 2-0 that was effectively that and Saints then seemed content to keep Hull at arms length to run out convincing winners.
While this game was being played out, Reading were contriving to be beaten 3-1 at Peterborough, while West Ham could only draw 1-1 against Middlesbrough.
A good night all round.
Attendance : 18,066
04 McKenna (Evans - 63' )
10 Koren (Mclean - 46' )
17 Brady (Stewart - 70' )
13 Fox (Harding - 77' )
10 Guly (De Ridder - 50' Booked )
42 Puncheon (Hammond - 62' )
33 De Ridder